Museum of Science and Industry


As you may remember from such films as Batman Begins, the Dark Knight uses his trademark cape to glide from rooftops down to street level, where he lands gently and commences bustin’ heads. A new paper, entitled “Trajectory of a falling Batman,” describes what would happen if Batman were to try this maneuver in real life.

According to the study, Batman would only be able to slow his velocity to somewhere around 50 miles per hour before impacting the ground - meaning that his only hope for effectively stopping bad guys would be to land on their heads. A feat he could probably only do once.

David Marshall, one of the authors of the paper, said: "If Batman wanted to survive the flight, he would definitely need a bigger cape. Or if he preferred to keep his style intact he could opt for using active propulsion, such as jets to keep himself aloft.”

Dear scientists: I think you’ll find that most of us posited Jetpack Batman years ago, but good work catching up.

See also: The Physics of Superheroes

Images: iStockphoto

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